Personal Reasons for Bicycling

I’ve now owned my Trek 1000 road bike for exactly 5 full years. I bought it in early March 2001 at American Cycle and Fitness in Sterling Heights, MI for $650. It was probably one of the best investments in my future that I’ve ever made.

I actually bought the bike for a very specific ride. I had found out about a ride called the “AIDS Vaccine Charity Ride” that was held by Pollatta Teamworks (now gone). It was to take place in Montana, last 5 days, 575 miles from Missoula to Billings. Although I had a full-suspension mountain bike (now in a landfill) at the time, I knew that it wouldn’t be up to the task of a ride of that magnitude. It was slow and heavy. However, much like my Nishiki, I too was slow and heavy.

I had just gone through a bought of severe depression, I was stressed about work, I had just had a year of 3 relationships that were complete letdowns and I weighed 175lbs. I was drinking soda with caffiene and drinking coffee all the time. I couldn’t even get up a single flight of stairs to my apartment without feeling a little out of breath.

The real inspiration to get back on a bike “seriously” was the weird sensation I felt in my chest. It might have been a heart murmur, or irregular heartbeat. I’ll never know. But it kind of scared me.

I bought the bike with the full intent of participating in the ride and losing the excess weight that had grown on my waist-line. I had even bought freeweights, a stationary bicycle and a heart-rate monitor (HRM) that doubled as a bicycle computer with Speed and distance monitoring.

Over the next few months, I had lose 20lbs, gained a lot of muscle and started feeling quite awesome.

I then rode to work regularly, rode through Montana with the Trek 1000, rode some more and continue to ride to work. I’ve been on several other group bike rides since then, put on many miles on some long distance rides around SE Michigan and in 2004, I used my tax refund to buy a Gary Fischer Tassajara Mountain Bike. Now, I’ve completed many more group rides, participated in two time trial events and have filled my calendar with regular rides and races all the way through September.

I went through boughts of weight gain as I like to snack and eat. I’ve been up to 166lbs again at the beginning of this year, but have sinced dropped to 156lbs again.

My goal is to keep riding as much as possible, lose a few more pounds and maybe even get down to my 16-year-old svelt self again of 135lbs. Not likely, but it is possible.

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